The Touch has 802.11b/g Wi-Fi connectivity, incidentally, but we had real problems connecting to the internet through Reg Hardware's access point - something that's not been an issue with HTC devices before. In short, it wouldn't stay connected. That said, we had no problem connecting to my access point at home. In any case, turning off Wi-Fi and falling back on GPRS allowed me to connect as I'd expect to.
HTC's Touch: iPhone-esque graphics
The trouble with all this TouchFlo stuff is that it's only skin deep. Even LG's Prada phone has a UI that feels designed for touch control and not tacked on to another OS. Too soon you drop into the standard, ugly-by-comparison Windows Mobile 6 look and feel.
Pull out the stylus - yes, HTC still can't get rid of it - and the Touch is a decent, very compact Windows Mobile tablet-format phone. In fact, we found ourselves naturally grabbing the stylus and tapping away at WM's tiny links, alphanumeric pad and other UI elements that are just too small to hit reliably with fingers.
The Touch can be snapped up for around £350/$600, which isn't a bad price for a decent WM smart phone, particularly given there's that 1GB Micro SD card in the box and a reasonable set of earphones - which terminate, incidentally, in a tweaked mini-USB connector; there's no 3.5mm socket on the Touch. Once the card is in, it's almost impossible to get out, we found - no amount of prodding with the stylus - it's not just for text entry, you know - would get it to spring out.
The slot cover is almost as hard to open: unless you have girly long nails, you'll need to remove the Touch's back cover and pull the cover out by grabbing it near one of the hinges. To be fair to HTC, though, this isn't uncommon with small form-factor phones.
Call quality was good, so we've no complaints there. But the unit's battery life was nothing to write home about. HTC quotes five hours' talk time, but I'd say you're looking at charging the handset up overnight every night if you want to get the most out of the phone.
And the camera's rubbish. It may have a two-megapixel resolution, but shots are full of colour artefacts and look like they've undergone far too high a level of JPEG compression, so much so that they look like they were taken on a lower-resolution camera.
What a disappointment. HTC's Touch is undeniably a smart-looking phone, but while it's a stunner in pictures, in your hands it quickly becomes a fingerprint-plastered mess. Yes, it offers some neat touch-control improvements on the standard Windows Mobile 6 user interface, but for all the fancy visuals, it's no iPhone.
HTC Touch Window Mobile 6 smart phone
Apple does not invent everything
There are many valid criticisms in your article, e.g. the finger prints and the continuing need for the stylus. However do you have to compare everything to the Iphone, which is not even out yet, and you appear to idolize already?
The HTC president said they have been working on this phone for two years, and there is no reason to disbelieve him. You can simply NOT get a phone from concept to release in 6 months - its simply impossible. Your comments about HTC telling their staff to copy the Iphone is frankly offensive, and shows that you look down on this innovative Taiwanese company.
Your conviction that HTC copied its cube from Apple software frankly marks you out as an i-fanboy. Again, implying that HTC could not have come up with this simple interface on their own is offensive, and may even be racist.
You know how well this phone works, you do NOT know how well the Iphone works. This phone is here and now, and you can buy it. The Iphone will only get to UK by the end of the year. Please review the device on its own merits next time, and stop letting your Apple bias show.
HTC Touch - Great Little Beauty!
I received mine yesterday - and yes I agree the screen picks up your finger marks, but that's not really a problem.
I am replacing a Nokia E61 - it worked well but really wasn't as useful as my old WM5 device from IPAQ that I changed it for, but I have missed WM, so am expecting WM6 to be a bit better.
The HTC Touch is quick -syncs well, can do my email roving via GPRs and using a soft SIP client I can make calls when I'm in a WIFI zone r on my home LAN for next to free - plus it aslo holds enough music for my tatses with a 2Gb card.........
Add to the unit with either Bluetooth Headphones and Tom Tom and well what more can you say!
It looks neat too!
Damn right it's no iPhone!
Tony, I found your review extremely single minded. Your focus seemed not to be on showing what the Touch is and what it does, but instead, how it relates to the iPhone. That in itself is a very flawed stance, since HTC has not even positioned this device to compete with the iPhone. If they intended to compete with the iPhone don't you think they would at the very least, release is in the USA where the iPhone is being released? Secondly, if they did want to compete with the iPhone why on earth would they handicap the Touch by intentionally designing it without the 850mhz band that has become so important to the North American market?
You made a very amateur statement about the Touch becoming a mess of fingerprints. This can be said of ANY touch screen device, BUT, it can also be corrected with the use of a screen protector.
I'm sorry Tony but I have a hard time accepting anything in this review because I'm not entirely sure what is bias and what isn't. You probably make a lot of good observsations but they are lost when bias become so evident. I can fine dozens of reviews on this and other devices from other sources where I will come away feeling I've been given a far unshadowed view.
Take the Touch for what it is. It's hardware is meant for the average user. It's new TouchFLO interface is a great new and needed interface for Windows Mobile, which is going to be widely available throughout the mobile sector in the coming months. Not just from Apple, or HTC, but from many others as well. After all this isn't a unique idea from Apple. It's been around for quite some time.
The Touch is not a poor Iphone copy
Tony, thank you for responding. In return I would like to point out:
1) The touchflo needs a special kind of touch screen not seen on any other device yet. The device uses new hardware, which one can not just magic up in 6 months.
2) Whats the point of developing hardware which can differentiate between fingers and styluses if you do not plan to use a finger and gesture based interface? Clearly the two goes together.
3) Leaked road maps for the HTC Trinity showed a device with a similar type of screen last year. When the Trinity eventually shipped it had a normal screen. To me this strongly suggest the intention was to use the touchflo even then, but the technology was not ready yet.
4) The LG Prada has the same type of screen as the Iphone, but was shown publicly in November last year, before the Iphone unveiling. Do you believe they also copied Apple in some way, or can you acknowledge some ideas come to fruition simultaneously?
5) Lastly, the HTC Touch actually uses gestures, and was designed to be used with a thumb. Ironically the Iphone still uses buttons, only virtual ones, so in that way the Touch is more user-friendly than the Iphone.
In short, there is no basis for your belief this device is a bad copy of the Iphone, and specifically no basis for your belief HTC would make a device with a special type of screen and not release it with a new interface, were it not for the Iphone. It just does not make sense.
If you have any deeper basis for your beliefs I would like to hear them.Thank you for your time.
Re. It's no iPhone?
Rich: if the iPhone performs like the Touch, I'll slam the iPhone too - probably more so, since the Apple product promises even more than the HTC does.
Surur: I'm sorry, I don't believe the Touch was not influenced by the iPhone. I'm sure the hardware was been in development for some time, but I'm convinced that if Apple hadn't announced the iPhone, the Touch would appear as the P3450 - which is its default Bluetooth ID - with a standard WM6 UI.
If TouchFlo has been in development for two years too, I would hope it would extend deeper into the underlying OS than it does.